Do Jews Read the Bible? 

With over 4,000 established religions in the world, you may be wondering about one of the most prominent faiths, Judaism.

Definitive details about Judaism may be murky to you, like whether or not Jews read the Christian Bible. 

Because Jews don’t consider Jesus the Messiah, Jews do not read the Christian Bible. Rather, Jews read the Hebrew Bible, a series of ancient Scriptures.

While there are some similarities to the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible is organized into three sections: the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim. 

In the remainder of this article, you’ll learn more key details about the Hebrew Bible and discover its undying prevalence to Jews all over the world. 

What You Need to Know about the Jewish Bible

Written during 1200 to 100 BCE, the Hebrew Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew and translated into several languages later on for widespread readability.

Judaism considers the Hebrew Bible to be a direct account of God’s evolving relationship with His chosen people, the Jews.

The Hebrew Bible is often studied to understand God’s gracious works and their impact on humans.

The Hebrew Bible is a set of insightful tales that address some of the world’s most pressing questions with a religious lens.

When reading the Hebrew Bible, it’s important to remember that these stories are not intended to be read in a scientific or historical manner.

Rather, the Hebrew Bible allows Jews to define humanity and establish a pure, loving connection to God.

Jews have organized the Hebrew Bible into three different classifications.

Each category contains religious books relevant to overarching themes that reveal essential truths about the relationship between humans and God.

Listed below in detail are the three groupings in the Hebrew Bible.

1. Torah 

The Torah consists of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy provide explanations for the creation of the universe and chronicle the early beginnings of Judaism.

When reading the Torah, you’ll meet Sarah and Abraham, who lead the exiled to Canaan and establish the nation of Israel under God’s will.

2. Nevi’im

The Nevi’im showcases the history of Judaism in Israel, which includes several hard-fought battles against opposing imperialistic nations.

This collection of nineteen books features brave, vocal leaders chosen by God to strengthen the Jews’ warfare and spirituality.

You’ll witness the rise and fall of the first Israelite kingdom, capital, and Temple that nourished Jewish ideologies. 

3. Ketuvim

The Hebrew word “ketuvim” translates to “writings,” and that’s exactly what this classification includes.

Within the Ketuvim is a series of eleven books full of wise poetry and philosophical short stories.

Some of the books discuss doubts about God’s existence, so this collection is not always focused on religion.

Rather, the Ketuvim raises questions about the complexities humans face on Earth. 

Why Jews Only Read the Hebrew Bible

Despite having books in common with the ancient Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible is the only set of Scriptures that Jews will read devoutly and consider as written truth.

The Old Testament contains different books that are organized in dissimilar ways, so Jews reject the Old Testament as being God’s real word. 

For all Jews, the New Testament is not taught and worshiped in any capacity.

Since Jews don’t believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, Jews disregard the New Testament as being a reliable source of truth.

Therefore, Jews only believe in the Hebrew Bible because it is an integral piece of their identity as a religious community since the beginning.

From the dawn of Judaism, the Hebrew Bible was read, taught, and prayed in local synagogues to strengthen their relationship with God.

Even though the terrors of persecution, Jews clung to God’s word to guide them through suffering.

Rather than let their faith dwindle, the Hebrew Bible touched Jews’ hearts in unforgettable ways that have sustained countless generations. 

Final Thoughts

The Christian Bible doesn’t apply to Jewish beliefs, so Jews don’t read the Old or New Testaments.

Rather, Jews read the Hebrew Bible to solidify their beliefs in God and learn about vital life lessons.

The Hebrew Bible allows Jews to connect with their religious origins and understand their intimate connection to God which withstood the greatest challenges.